California 1st to ban dry-cleaning chemical
California regulators on Thursday enacted the nation's first statewide ban on the most common chemical used by dry cleaners, pleasing environmentalists but worrying some small businesses.
By 2023, no more dry-cleaning machines that use the toxic solvent perchloroethylene, a potential carcinogen, will be permitted in the state.
The regulation by the California Air Resources Board will phase out the fluid next year, banning dry cleaners from buying machines that rely on the solvent. The state's 3,400 dry cleaners who now use it must get rid of machines that are 15 years or older by July 2010.